This gorgeous Wild Rice Salad is a celebration of vibrant colours and textures! Made with wild rice, pomegranate, pecans, rocket / arugula, green onions, dried cranberries and feta, dressed with a simple vinaigrette to let the salad flavours shine. A great holiday and Christmas salad – or for weekend brunch to impress!
“That was the most amazing salad I’ve ever had! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!” <– Text message from she who received a container of this. 🙂
If you’re new to wild rice – once you’ve wild riced it, you never go back.
Though the irony in all this wild rice talk is that it isn’t actually a rice. It’s a grain. I’m guessing the rice-powers-that-be decided to call this Wild Rice because it looks like rice and it’s…err…. grown in the wild? 😂
Here’s an up close and personal of the star ingredient in this dish. It’s cooked like pasta, boiled in water. But it tastes so much more exotic than normal rice. Nutty and toasty. It’s so good, you’ll be picking at it while it’s cooling – or wait, is that just me who has such a lack of self constraint?
Yes it costs more than ordinary rice. It $4.70 for 150g/5 oz which is 1 cup which is the amount required to make this salad.
It’s “exotic”! 🙂 And it’s worth it, for a celebratory salad – or a salad for a special occasion. 🙂
And yes, pomegranates are a splurge too. Let’s say it as it is – they make anything you scatter them over look gorgeous, the pops of fresh pomegranate juice from every bite can take any ordinary salad to another level, but they are not cheap. Usually $3 to $4 each here in Australia.
Worth it? For this Wild Rice Salad – YES.
I saw a video recently where a store bought pack of pomegranate seeds were tossed into a salad. We don’t have packaged pomegranates here in Australia (as far as I know), and I’m totally cool with that. Because part of the joy of indulging in pomegranate is the art of getting the seeds out.
You spank it with a wooden spoon. It is childishly satisfying. I used to do a section for an Australian recipe magazine, and for a recipe with pomegranate in it, I included instructions to “spank it firmly with a wooden spoon to remove the seeds.”
That step was edited out. Apparently, “spanking” is a no-no term for use in a G-rated recipe magazine! 😂
Wild Rice and pomegranate aside, this Wild Rice Salad is filled with all manner of deliciousness that gives it that glorious kaleidoscope of colours and textures. I’d rather not list them, prefer to show you instead:
I know it looks like there’s bugger all rocket / arugula in it, but actually, there’s quite a mound of it. I like to chop it up roughly which makes this a scoopable salad, and this reduces the considerable mound once tossed through everything else.
I made a deliberate choice to keep the dressing for this Wild Rice Salad very simple. It’s just a basic white wine vinaigrette – though you could switch the vinegar for any other clear vinegar. I like to keep the dressing simple to let the flavours of the things in the salad to shine through – especially the wild rice.
I think of this Wild Rice salad as a “special” salad, because the ingredients cost a bit more than the usual run-of-the-mill salads I share. And it’s worth it, because this IS a special salad. In both looks and flavour.
I see this on your Thanksgiving and Christmas table! 😉 – Nagi x
The vibrant colours, flavours and textures in this salad are sensational! A great holiday salad or for special occasions. Serves 3 as meal or 5 - 6 as side. Recipe VIDEO below.
- 150 g / 5 oz / 1 cup wild rice (Note 1)
- 120g/ 4 oz baby rocket / arugula , roughly chopped (~2 giant handfuls)
- 1 pomegranate , seeds only (see video, Note 2)
- 100g/ 3.5 oz feta , preferably soft Danish, crumbled (Note 3)
- ¾ cup dried cranberries (or similar)
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans
- 1 cup green onions, sliced (or chopped red onion)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar, or other clear-ish vinegar)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ garlic clove , minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Boil 1 litre/quart+ of water in large saucepan (no need to be exact). Add rice, lower heat so it’s simmering gently. Cover then cook for 40 minutes (Note 4), or until rice is tender but not super soft (some will burst).
Drain then leave to steam dry and cool.
Shake Dressing in a jar, set aside for 15 minutes+.
Place rocket, rice, cranberries, pecans and green onions in a bowl. Add some of the feta and pomegranate. Pour over most of the Dressing, toss gently.
Transfer into serving bowl, top with remaining feta and pomegranate. Serve immediately.
1. Wild Rice isn’t actually a rice, it’s a grain. It tastes nutty and almost toasted, so much more interesting than plain rice! I get my from Harris Farms, it’s also sold in some Woolworths (Macro organic brand, health food section), fruit & veg stores like Thomas Dux (I'm in Australia).
2. POMEGRANATE: To remove seeds, cut in half then hold one half cut side down in your hand over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to "spank" it firmly! The seeds will fly out into your hand.
3. Soft feta, called Danish feta here in Australia, is ideal for this salad. Goat's cheese is also fantastic with this. Soft crumbled cheese pairs really well with this salad. Ordinary Greek feta is fine too - once crumbled. 🙂
34. How to cook Wild Rice: Just cook it like pasta, then drain and leave to steam and cool. If you like your rice/pasta firm, then 35 minutes will do it. I like mine tender but not super soft, so 40 - 45 minutes is my time. If you like rice/pasta super soft, cook your wild rice for 50 minutes.
4. MAKE AHEAD: Ideal for making ahead, prepare all ingredients in a bowl but don't toss. Make dressing in a jar and leave for up to 2 days. Then toss it all together just before serving. But even after dressing, this salad keeps quite well because it's not a super leafy salad - I am happy with mine even after 48 hours. DO NOT keep dressing for longer than 48 hours because it has raw garlic in it (just to be safe, because minced raw garlic can go off after 3 days or so and have nasty consequences).
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
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